THE Sino-British talks on the 1994/95 electoral arrangement are showing signs of progress after the two sides went into ''substantive'' discussions and exchanged statements at yesterday's meeting. Before the opening of the eighth round of talks at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, chief negotiators of the two sides indicated that the move towards agreement would be speeded up. China's chief negotiator Jiang Enzhu said he looked forward to greater progress in this round of talks - the first after Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen met his British counterpart, Douglas Hurd. ''We shall follow the spirit of the talks between the two foreign ministers, put in greater effort in order to accelerate the pace of our negotiation,'' he said. But Mr Jiang and his British counterpart, Sir Robin McLaren, remained tight-lipped on the agenda and issues discussed. Britain has demanded the through-train be discussed by the two Governments but the Chinese authorities insisted it be left for the Special Administrative Region (SAR) Preparatory Committee, to be set up in 1996, to decide. Sir Robin, the British chief negotiator and ambassador to China, said the talks had become more substantive as Mr Hurd had set down some useful guidelines in his visit to Beijing. He described this round of talks as a new phase in the negotiations as both sides were concentrating on substantive issues. Yesterday's session took a 90 minute break after just half an hour. Sir Robin said: ''It is a matter of considering the process of a negotiation. In any negotiation, whether it's this one or another one, each side makes a statement or two sides make a statement and then there is a need to reflect upon how to respond to it.'' He refused to say how many rounds of talks would be conducted before the two countries reach an agreement over the 1994/95 electoral arrangement. But he said the ninth round of talks would be announced on the last day of the meeting tomorrow. Meanwhile, a senior Chinese official said yesterday that he saw no great difficulties for China in reaching an agreement on the composition of the election committee and the functional constituency elections. A vice-director of the local branch of New China News Agency, Zhu Yucheng, said the basic principles on the functional constituency elections and the composition of the election committee had already been stated in the annex of the Basic Law and the diplomatic exchanges. The Government announced yesterday that Mr Patten would travel to London on July 27 and would have meetings with ministers and Foreign Office officials. Mr Patten will meet Mr Hurd on July 29 and afterwards he would start his annual leave and return to Hongkong on August 31.